(CNN) Archaeologists have exhumed a 1,000-year-old sarcophagus in Mainz, Germany, uncovering the decomposed remains of what could be a former Archbishop who died in the 11th century.

Excavations within the St. Johannis Church, which is one of the oldest in the city, uncovered the first signs of the stone coffin in 2017, when a corner of the receptacle was revealed beneath the church floor.

Following months of preparation and a layer-by-layer excavation of the sarcophagus, the 14-strong team managed to open the 700-kilogram stone lid Tuesday using a pulley system and were able to look inside for the first time.

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